Monday, October 19, 2015

The 17th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw - Finalists and Awards (Vol. 6, No. 9)

The 17th Chopin Competition is now taking place in Warsaw, Poland.  The jury, led by Prof. Prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń , has announced the names of the ten Finalists on October 16, 2015.

Since October 18, the finalists appear before the jury, and the performances ended on October 20, 2015.  The finalists represent eight countries: two are from Canada, two from United States, and one each from Croatia, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Russia, and South Korea.

  • Mr Seong-Jin Cho (South Korea)
  • Mr Aljoša Jurinić (Croatia)
  • Ms Aimi Kobayashi (Japan)
  • Ms Kate Liu (United States)
  • Mr Eric Lu (United States)
  • Mr Szymon Nehring (Poland)
  • Mr Georgijs Osokins (Latvia)
  • Mr Charles Richard-Hamelin (Canada)
  • Mr Dmitry Shishkin (Russia)
  • Mr Yike (Tony) Yang (Canada)
The finalists performed one of Chopin's Piano Concerti, either the Concerto in E minor, Op. 11 or the Concerto in F minor, Op. 21. They were accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Warsaw Philharmonic conducted by Maestro Jacek Kaspszyk. The names of the Competition’s laureates were announced on October 20, 2015:

  1. First Prize Winner: Seong-Jin Cho (South Korea), also Chopin Society Prize for Best Performance of a Polonaise
  2. Second Prize Winner: Charles Richard-Hamelin (Canada), also Krystian Zimmerman Prize for Best Performance of a Sonata
  3. Third Prize Winner:  Kate Liu (U.S.), also Polish Radio Prize for Best Performance of Mazurkas
  4. Fourth Prize Winner: Eric Lu (U.S.)
  5. Fifth Prize Winner: Tony Yike Yang (Canada)
  6. Sixth Prize Winner: Dmitry Shishkin (Russia)

Among Polish pianists, Szymon Nehring was the audience's favorite, and received a Distinction prize (also awarded to the remaining finalists).  Krzysztof Ksiazek did not qualify to the finals, but received Prof. Drzewiecki Prize for the Best Polish Participant.

The 2015 Chopin Competition Jury consisted of the following pianists and scholars:
  1. Dmitri Alekseev (Russia, b. 1947)
  2. Martha Argerich (Argentina, winner of the 7th Chopin Competition, 1965; b. 1941)
  3. Akiko Ebi (Japan and France, fifth prize winner in the 10th Chopin Competition, 1980, b. 1953)
  4. Philippe Entremont (France, pianist and conductor, b. 1934)
  5. Nelson Goerner (Argentina, b. 1969)
  6. Adam Harasiewicz (Poland, winner of the 5th Chopin Competition, 1955; b. 1932)
  7. Andrzej Jasinski (Poland,  b. 1936)
  8. Yundi Li (China, winner of the 14th Chopin Competition, 2000, b. 1982)
  9. Garrick Ohlsson  (USA, winner of the 8th Chopin Competition, 1970, b. 1948)
  10. Janusz Olejniczak (Poland, sixth prize winner in the 8th Chopin Competition, 1970, b. 1952)
  11. Piotr Paleczny (Poland, third prize winner in the 8th Chopin Competition, 1970, b. 1946)
  12. Ewa Poblocka (Poland, fifth prize winner in the 10th Chopin Competition, 1980, b. 
  13. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron (Poland, honorable mention in the 9th Chopin Competition, 1975, b. 1948; Chairperson of the Jury)
  14. John Rink (U.K., musicologist)
  15. Wojciech Switala (Poland, winner of the prize for Polonaise performance, 12th Chopin Competition, 1990; b. 1967)
  16. Dang Thai Son (Vietnam, winner of the 10th Chopin Competition, 1980, b. 1958)
  17. Dina Yoffe (Latvia- Russia, second prize winner of the 9th Chopin Competition, 1975) 
Current information, video recordings of the auditions and concerts may be found posted on the Competition's website:

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